Home building is one of the most exciting life decisions you can make.
That’s not to say that the processes of house design and home building are immune to failure or error. In fact, there is an assortment of challenges people face throughout the building process, and failure to acknowledge them beforehand can ultimately taint dream houses with shades of disappointment.
Let’s look at nine of these common mistakes and how to avoid them when building custom homes.
1. Assuming Your Developer Will Take The Lead
Remember, this is your dream house design. While you may not be an expert in construction, your finished home should visually reflect your preferences and lifestyle, making it crucial to communicate and reiterate your ideas to the building company you hire.
Of course, you can certainly ask your developer for suggestions and opinions; but don’t lose your vision to generic, cookie-cutter concepts. Experienced contractors who value the creativity and individuality of every client are worth the search. When consulting, show potential developers pictures of homes and ideas that you love, giving them a specific sense of direction beforehand is also an easy tell if a company meets your criteria.
2. Signing Bad Contracts
In the event that something goes wrong during your build, you’ll want to ensure that you’re protected. Contractors will usually provide you with their own contract or agreement. However, if they don’t, or if you’re someone who struggles to understand contracts, it’s best to hire a lawyer who can either write a contract or review your contract before your project begins. The contract should identify delivery dates and cost projections so that you’re not responsible for delays and added costs that aren’t your fault.
3. Not Thinking About The Future
A lot can change in twenty years. Don’t build a home for today. Build a home for a lifetime. For a family. After all, if this is your dream house, you want to be living here for as long as possible, right? Will you be adding children to your family in the coming years? Are there too many steps and stairs for a person approaching old age? These are questions that you might want to ask yourself as you’re designing your new home.
4. Not Forecasting Delays
If you request or submit a seemingly unrealistic, or aggressive schedule, don’t anticipate it will be met. There are almost always delays in construction, and resulting from complications ranging from weather conditions to structural inadequacies. In contrast to regiment scheduling, expect additional time to meet milestones, and be pleasantly surprised when the job is slightly early or on time. During the winter months specifically, it is necessary to budget time in coordination with potential poor weather and delays.
5. Losing Yourself In The Details
Home building requires you to make hundreds of decisions. Some of these decisions will be significant and others will be more trivial; but in many cases, you’ll find that one decision affects another. The number of pending decisions can easily lead to an information overload or breakdown, especially when you’re asked to respond to forty line items in a single meeting.
To avoid being completely overwhelmed, create opportunities to operate at your leisure. Ask your developer to set up a shared site where your team members can upload questions and answers when they are able.
6. Passing Up Built-In Furniture
Because you’re building your own home from nothing, you have an option that few others have – built-in furniture. Many people assume that built-in furniture is more expensive, and miss out on a unique opportunity early on. As long as you factor in costs during the project’s initial phases, you can include built-in furniture at rates comparable, or more affordable, than regular furniture.
7. Passing Over The Windows
Windows aren’t always installed correctly. Such an oversight can lead to a spike in your utility costs, and it can open your home up to water leaks and mold.
So, how do you prevent poor window installation? First, make sure you understand the installation process. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them before installing the windows. Then take what information you’ve learned about the installation process and run it by a seasoned professional. You can never be too careful when it comes to windows.
8. Spending Without Cutting
If you’re on a tight budget, this one is extremely important. Project costs always go up. Whether it’s a last minute material change or an upgrade you like, you can bet your new house on spending more money than you had initially budgeted. Knowing this, you can offset additional costs by subtracting elsewhere, and find areas where you can save or downgrade.
9. Neglecting To Have A Proper Home Inspection
In your eagerness to complete work on your new home, you might be tempted to skip the inspection. Don’t make this mistake! In fact, make sure you have a third-party inspection lined up to ensure that any issues are identified and resolved before signing off on your home. Do you think you can avoid these nine common mistakes? With careful preparation and reasonable expectations about the home building process, you certainly can.